Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat? Is the Telegraph pulling a PBS?

Tonight I should be trick or treating with my son. Since I'm not, and therefore need something to distract myself, I thought I'd treat myself to a hunt around for the tricks people are up to.

In the London Telegraph, I feel for David and his mom Naomi. From what we are told, it does seem that justice is tricking them as an apparently genuinely unwilling David is sent to live with his dad and cut off from talking to his mother. While I cannot agree with the cutting-off of communication, I also note that the article, in a treat for mom and a trick for dad, does not offer the father's side. We have no hint of how combative or manipulative the mother might have been, there are bad words only for the father.

Of course, any injustice should be fought with all energy, especially the disenfranchisement of a parent in the absence of very, very good reasons. That said, the article seems to be something of a print version of PBS's recent trick "Breaking the Silence" -- overall perhaps a little more fair minded but trickily subtle in its attacks on what little progress that has been made in the establishment of fathers' rights.

For example: "Sir Bob Geldof and other fathers' rights campaigners may have been almost too successful" speaks for itself. A nice, in-your-face trick, that.

And, quoting the tricky Charles Pragnell: "Any man accused of abuse will realise that the best form of defence is attack. He will make counter-allegations that the mother has been indoctrinating the child or is suffering from Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy." Which while perfectly possible, makes no comment on the truth of either side's allegations and therefore qualifies as inuendo (definitely a trick). I find it interesting that he forgot to add PAS to the father's treats (or would that be tricks?), I expect PBS's effort hasn't made it across the Atlantic yet. (And haven't the Brits got a treat coming...!?)

Pragnell goes on: "These men are usually highly intelligent professionals or businessmen with considerable resources." and so it would seem that being such might be a disadvantage for a man caught up in a fight over custody, which is pretty tricky given that intelligence, professionalism and success used to be considered good things in a parent.

The quote continues: "They seem to be able to find one key social worker, usually female, to convince of their claimed innocence and accept their allegations against the mother". And if the father is innocent and his allegations honest, is this social worker, who might have been the only unbiased one he could find, not to be taken seriously? Dad's treat morphed into a trick right in front of our eyes! 'Interesting that the social worker is "usually female", I wonder what that's supposed to signify? Hmmmm. Give me a moment here. Ahah! Of course! Women are just so easily tricked into believing us naughty men, aren't they?! Those poor, gullible women social workers (well, those that aren't on mom's side, anyway)...

On the other hand, it is claimed that "the judge relied on [the opinion of] a child psychiatrist, briefed by her, who has not met [the child] and is not on the professional registry" which would be yet another example of negligent trickiness no matter which parent suffers for it. (I take it as a given that the child is more than likely going to suffer if the word of a shrink who hasn't taken the time to talk to him or her is taken to represent reality. The kids get tricked all round.)

Overall, just like "Breaking the Silence", I'd say this article would have been much better as an exposé of the nasty tricks that either side can play and how (hope springs eternal!) the establishment is treating us all by doing something to limit the damage instead of provoking it. Instead, it suggests that "the pendulum has swung too far" in favor of fathers' rights, but at least they're honest enough to give us a small treat and quote Oliver Cyriax: "Emphatically not, It is still rare for residence to be awarded to the father and contact rights are routinely ignored.".

Yup, more tricks than treats there. Bad Telegraph! No candy from grumpy old Mr. Doe.

Simulposted on HateMalePost.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Witch hunting

Well, Hallowe'en's coming so witch-hunting seems a reasonable topic. Ifeminists flags a couple of articles to whet the appetite. A now 30 year-old preschooler finally comes clean about his contributions to the McMartin preschool trials. Mind you, he's only one of 360.

Mick Hume at Spiked wonders at length why we "believe these anti-human" horror stories such as child kidnapping from the Asian tsunami zone, rapes and murders at the New Orleans Superdome, gang rapes in north England, a child lynching in Yorkshire, child rapes in Essex (UK), etc. None of these actually happened or were nothing like they were portrayed, but that didn't stop the media going loopy and authorities posturing over taking them seriously and throwing resources at them, which made the media all the more interested, which made the authorities take them even more seriously and so on and so forth until everyone looked like a bunch of bloody fools, so they went quiet and hoped it would all go away before anyone noticed which it pretty much did because the public have the attention span (and proclivity) of your average mosquito except for the occasional reporter like Hume or perhaps even an entire magazine dedicated to critical thinking which hardly anybody ever reads anyway.

Hume muses further, "There is a powerful climate of misanthropy abroad today, one which suggests that we should always believe the worst of our fellow citizens" (another Brit who doesn't know he's a subject, sigh), and "it must be these contemporary anti-human attitudes, endorsed from the top of society downwards, which make many seem willing to believe the worst." and finished with "We are in danger of losing touch with the sound instinct which ought to tell us that some stories can just seem too bad to be true."

This is where he and I part company. We never had any such "sound instinct", it isn't in the least bit "contemporary" and misanthropy has always been abroad, there's nothing special about "today". It's standard, in-group/out-group thinking. It's part of the raw material of the human animal. Tribal society was built on defenses against real dangers, real fears. The hero rallies the tribe to take out the man-eating tiger and once he's done that, he's in charge and needs a way to stay there before his cousin sticks it to him with his spear. Quick! Think of another danger, and frighten everyone back into line, and that gossip over there, tell her first, she'll spread it further than I can.

Like rats, we need to climb on top of one another to get to the top of the pile. We'll do whatever we can for advantage, including frighten our neighbors, even while frightened ourselves, to keep the club together and knock the bad guy on the head (even as he wonders what he did). There's no conspiracy, the media and the authorities don't know what they're doing, even while they're doing it. They all think they're good guys, even as they tie the rope and drop the trapdoor. The human animal needs its enemies to stay together, and if it hasn't got any, or enough, it'll make some up. It's a feedback mechanism, damped down only when it goes too far and damages the pack more than it helps. By then, for many, for the real victims, for the "witches", it's too late and the perpetrators, innocent though they may have been, in their own way, can only beat their chests and sigh a regret for a minute or two before shrugging their shoulders and changing the topic.

The McMartin accuser says: "I would love to look at the defendants from the McMartin Preschool and tell them, 'I'm sorry.' "

Too late, mate.

Simulposted at Hate Male Post.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I don't like feminazis.

I don't like feminazis. By which I mean two things. First, I don't like many of the opinions held by those people who are frequently called "feminazis". But, second, I also don't like the term "feminazi". The word "Nazi" is hyperbole. It's a "nya, nya, you suck and we're the gang who don't like you" sort of word, it provokes more than it criticizes and consequently says more about the user than those it is directed at. Given that I have great sympathy for the view of many of the people who use the term, its use saddens me for its cost in credibility. Even the more extreme feminists are not Nazis. Although they do say some pretty unpleasant things from time to time, they are not the same league as the National Socialist Party of WWII Germany. If one is attempting to have a reasoned debate, "feminazi" is the sort of word more likely to put backs up and polarize discussion than to achieve actual progress.

I am reminded of a wonderful scene from The West Wing where Toby is assigned to talk to a crowd of protestors in an auditorium. I don't remember what they were supposedly protesting, which is telling. They have no organization, they have no agenda, they're just a loud mob. Toby finds someone with a megaphone and makes the point that he's got plenty of time, and if they can't get their act together, he'll just sit back and read the sports pages. The owner of the megaphone manages to quieten the crowd long enough for Toby to get to the podium, declare that he's there to listen to what they have to say and be silenced by a wave of heckling. He promptly sits back down and reads the sports pages. (The simultaneous interplay between Toby and his mildly macho policewoman minder is a nice piece of writing and acting too, bewailing the impression that people don't know how to protest any more.)

In my previous post, I wrote about Trish Wilson, a self-professed "progressive feminist" blogger who repeatedly belittles men's and fathers' rights activists as a bunch of macho fools. By saying this, she provokes people with valid grievances and helps to turn them into exactly what she's calling them.

True feminists should be pro men's and fathers' rights. True feminists seek equality of opportunity, not the default superiority of either gender over the other in any given theatre. By touting the opinions that she does, refusing to acknowledge that men's and fathers' rights advocates have valid positions and failing to engage them in productive debate, Ms. Wilson betrays herself not to be a feminist at all.

Is she a feminazi? Many would call her that. I'd prefer not to fall to her level and call her as she is. On many of the issues that she and others hold forth, they know they have the advantage and they know they're in the wrong. They also know that by making you angry, they reveal and promote your powerlessness, and can claim that it is deserved. In the face of implacable presentation of facts, on the other hand, they often fall into shrill defenses of morally suspect positions, which is exactly what is needed to expose them for what they are. They are reminiscent, in fact, of the male chauvinists of days gone by who opposed the admirable aims of true feminism. In reasoned debate, such people ended up looking like the bigoted fools that they were.

Yes, there is a place for protest, yes, loud, obnoxious complaints get needed attention, but there is also a place for discussion with a view to convincing the right people of the right path, even if they start off opposing it. Take the moral high ground, speak to the balcony, that's where the power lies: in getting the attention of reasonable minds. Don't let heckling from the stalls provoke you into wasting your energy on petty argument over transparently irrational positions. Even if they have unreasonable opinions, all thoughtful people want to be good guys, reactionaries don't care.

Let's use the language of their more honest predecessors, let's call them what they are: female chauvinists. Some are even female-supremacists. Believe me, I make no apology for them, but they aren't Nazis.

Simulposted on HateMalePost.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The ATC from hell.

I just had to:

Allegedly, while taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?! I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!" Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?" US Air 2771: "Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?"

... found on the internet.

Man forgives murderous wife.

For those that wonder that men don't report domestic violence against them, check this one out.

Trish Wilson, I'm your greatest fan!

Trish Wilson (aka "The Countess") is an annoying pain in the ass, but she may be one of fathers' rights best unintended allies. She's a very vocal blogger on the opposite side and has tons of fun slamming fathers rights whenever she can. In fact, she blogs so much that one might wonder that she doesn't actually have to do some real work once in a while. On the other hand, she just got married, so perhaps she gets to take advantage of those aspects of the hated "patriarchy" to which her ilk conveniently turn a blind eye because they work in their favor. (I don't really know, and I don't much care to find out, but the inuendo of suggesting it amuses me.)

She is particularly outspoken against joint child custody after divorce and the idea that a mother might attempt to alienate her children from their father in the course of a custody battle. She and her cronies appear to lack the cognitive abilities required to recognize that some mothers might act in a manner not entirely to their children's best interest and that fathers might have some legitimate concerns and face real obstacles in pursuing them. As a result, she often supplies marvellous opportunities for counter-argument and publicity for more reasonable points of view via the comments sections of her posts. It is common that she and her cronies ignore the very real and cogent points brought up in response to their views and quickly degenerate into incoherent rants about their own ex's and undefendable and insulting ideas about the uselessness of men in general. These can get quite entertaining, if you can avoid letting them get your blood pressure up.

Here's a good example:

She writes a review on blogcritics of one of those ten-a-penny books on how aweful men are and ties this to her recent defence of the undefendable PBS documentary "Breaking the Silence". I wouldn't bother with the actual review, just skip to the comments. The first, from Teri of Feminist4Fathers, says: "You are not describing the fathers and family rights movement accurately. You are pointing out instances where fathers in pain with no recourse have lashed out. I can go to several places online and find mothers saying things even worse than that. What's the point?". And the very next starts with "I'm goddamned tired of whinny privaleged men bitching about them being denied their rights. Holly crap, which right do they want, the one to beat the shit out of their wife whenever they want, the right to rape their daughters and sons if they feel the need?"

"whinny"? "privaleged"? "Holly crap" (very festive)? We obviously have a master of debate joining in here.

A selection from further comments:

"I saw a father hang himself from his neck because he gave up his fight for custody."

"The mother/female needs to learn to take the same amount of responsibility in this ongoing blame game." (from a woman, mother, abuse victim, with initimate knowledge of real PAS)

"from my own experience, and this is just a sample, I have seen that:
1) women can be just as aggressive as men,
2) in order to avoid unnecessary disagreement, it is important that both parties to the discussion are using the same definition,
3) although the written DV laws don’t support sexism, in practice it is not at all uncommon, and
4) it would be naive or insincere to suggest that a double-standard for men and women does not exist."

"my two daughters and my twin sons are all the victims of parental alienation syndrome"

And, from a, er, Trish supporter: "You stupid bitch its people like you that are putting children in harms way when you tell everyone that all mothers are reporting false abuse to keep kids from their dads! Stupid bitch! What if it was your kids how would you feel bitch? GOD! I HATE ignorant people!"

Don't we all. It would appear to be reason versus unreason. I wonder which will win?

Anyway, thank you, Trish, for providing a forum for so many to share their stories and experiences, I'm not in the least sorry that they're so contrary to your ideas. It is interesting to note that, back on her own blog, she writes "I'm going to try to write several articles a week for Blogcritics. I think it's important to get a progressive and feminist voice out there, especially since Blogcritics posts link at Yahoo News and Google News." Again, where on earth does she get the time, but hey, at least she's going to be giving us a lot more publicity opportunities.

Here's another one where she posts a copy of a pro-PBS article, but again, ignore the article, check out the comments - coherent presentation and defence of fathers' difficulties and incoherent rubbish about those nasty men that are all over the place which actually degenerates into purile gossip about who gave whom VD! They're a three-ring circus this lot!

On the other hand, I am tempted to copy here the comment from "Trina" dated Oct 26th in its entirety as an excellent example of direct experience of multiple incidences of fathers destroyed by a process that Trish claims doesn't exist, but instead I suggest you go and read it.

Simulposted at: Hate Male Post

Thursday, October 20, 2005

ACFC Billboard

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children has an excellent billboard campaign:

As the Divorce and Child Custody blog puts it:

"A group of concerned parents came forward and asked ACFC to assist them with this task. Those parents were afraid of retaliation if they acted on their own, so we are doing this together."

What is the world coming to if parents are afraid of acting in what they consider are the best interests of children?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fathers are not "sperm donors"

Fathers are not sperm donors and sperm donors are not fathers.

Several times now, I have encountered transparently angry mothers who refer to their ex's as "sperm donors". I find this difficult to accept. A sperm donor is someone who provides a service, usually to a fertility clinic and in the expectation that he does not incur any liability for nor any further involvement with that child.

A father is a person who is known to a child. He was one of two willing participants in the conception and birth of the child and has normally participated in its upbringing at least up to a certain point. Even after the failure of the relationship, and even if he is so irresponsible as to take no further part in that child's life, he is still and will always be someone important to that child.

The epithet "sperm donor" directed at a father is derogatory and intended to objectify him. If he pays you child support, you might just as well call him "the walking wallet". It shows a failure of human respect and even if he richly deserves losing that respect, a properly adjusted adult will not do it. The only thing it achieves is to expose the anger and resentment of the mother and potentially will harm the child because even if she never uses the phrase in the child's hearing, the attitude will undoubtedly spill over. Children are very sensitive to this sort of thing, they will catch it, and the long term result will quite possibly be loss of respect for both parents.

In our society, it often seems to be acceptable that a woman be as vitriolic as she likes when she separates from her partner, whereas for a man, it is not. For him, in fact, it can be actively dangerous. Feminists want to be equal to men; if that is to be so, then they must accept the same responsibilities as men. Women do not want to be objectified and they should be vigilant in avoiding the hypocrisy of objectifying men. Women that do this will win the respect of men and of their fellow women, which is at least as significant as winning equality. Other women who encourage putting down ex's are indulging in throughtless gang behavior -- they are behaving like schoolkids clubbing together to stick it to another, and, as in any group of school bullies, any one of them can become the target at any time.

Separated fathers are forcefully enjoined against derogating the mother. They are warned never to put down the mother to the child and to be careful not to imply that she is anything but respected. The usual recommendation is, if the father feels too much resentment towards the mother, he should refer to her as "the mother of my child". This, at least, is a neutral and mature response to a difficult problem. Likewise, I would suggest to the angry mother to refer to her ex as "the father of my child".

Come on, mums, you're bigger and better than to call your kids' father their "sperm donor", would you have liked your mother to describe your father this way or thought better of her if she had?

I am sorry if this sounds pompous. I am expected to show respect towards my ex at all times, no matter what she does (and she does plenty). It distresses me that the inverse is not true.

A blog from India

In a blog from India, Vinayak highlights injustices against husbands and fathers, including international child abductions (to India) which never get redressed.

Where's Daddy?

Health Magazine briefly notes the short-changing fathers get these days.

Another frustrated father...

Meet Andrew Ryan, another father with a vindictive ex.

(Why do MSN not allow you to post comments without subscribing to their "passport" baloney?)

Singapore too...

Nicholas A blog in Singapore discusses the failings of divorce law and misbehaviour of ex's with custody. It's a worldwide problem, folks!

The Dark Madness: custody

A woman artfully describes the heartache of malicious separation from her children in The Dark Madness: custody.

What the suffragettes stood against.

In the Seneca Falls declaration of 1848, the suffragette movement laid out what they were fighting against. One of the items reads:

"He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women--the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands."

The suffragettes were looking for equality, and in many respects they have made great advances if not won their battles, and rightfully so. In the point in question, however, they seem not to have won equality, but supremacy, and are rapidly becoming the same as the despots they loathed.

Pretty soon, fathers may have to write a similar declaration, and one of the points will likely be:

"She has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in the case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of men -- the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of woman, and giving all power into her hands."

Think on it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Debunk this...

The anti-MRA camp frequently fall back on claiming that the men's rights position is based on debunked claims. What they never seem to do is provide any evidence that a claim has been debunked. One of the favorites is to poo-poo the idea that men can be abused. Shortly after reading one such article (no link, I won't give him the time of day), I discovered an academic paper addressing precisely this issue.

"Psychological Effects of Partner Abuse Against Men: A Neglected Research Area" appeared in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity, a quarterly which began in 2000 and is still going. The article is written by Denise A. Hines and Kathleen Malley-Morrison, click on their names to find summaries of their credentials. It is perhaps worth noting that both authors are women, this shouldn't matter but it seems to be a truism that greater credibility is to be had by women studying men than men studying men although when it comes to studying women, the inverse is apparently not the case.

I offer a summary and some commentary:

The last paragraph of the introduction begins: "Although at times throughout this article we consider the relative effects of abuse against men versus abuse against women, we are not arguing that the two forms of abuse can be equated." And the same paragraph ends: "However, evidence that women are injured more seriously and more often does not mean that the male victims of intimate violence should be ignored. It is our view that because many men are being victimized in their intimate relationships, the effects of this victimization are worth exploring." 'Seems entirely reasonable to me...

Next, they present a number of surveys demonstrating that men can indeed be victims of domestic violence and note that "Crime surveys, however, are assumed to provide low estimates of intimate violence against both men and women because many people are unwilling to label the physical violence they receive at the hands of an intimate partner a crime." This works both ways.

They address a few criticisms of the data - e.g. that women are more easily & severely injured by their batterers than are men, to which I paraphrase their response as "yes, and...?".

Then an interesting line: "Although we acknowledge that most battered women use violence in self-defense, the bulk of the research on motivations for violence in intimate relationships has shown that self-defense is not the motivation for women’s violence in the majority of cases." and they cite references showing that such violence is more often to show anger, retaliate for emotional hurt, express feelings they can't verbalize, and, importantly, to gain control over the abused.

There is also the comment here that "critics have argued that many times abused women will initiate their own violence to control the timing and place of violence by men". Although I can see the point, I feel the need to point out that although this might be a true observation, it should not be used to arrive at the conclusion that it is acceptable to provoke violence.

Then, a common complaint of men's rights activists: "when studying responses of police officers in their study, Stacey et al. reported that the police would arrest the man as the batterer if the woman were the abuser because there was no counseling program for violent women available." Now, I don't have Stacey et al. to read and verify this, but it is a classic method of forcibly assigning blame to the man even if he's the victim.

Citations and summaries are given of studies that show female-on-male DV may be increasing. The summary of available studies to indicate that women do abuse men is finished with the statement "Many women report themselves to be capable of perpetrating violence against their partners, and the ramifications of this violence are worth exploring."

The authors go on to discuss the rates of physical injury to men, first noting that "The majority of studies that have assessed the victimization of men in marriages have compared these men to abused women.", and go on to consider only the rates of physical injury among men while accepting that abused women are at higher risk of this than are abused men. Nevertheless, they note that husbands and wives are nearly equally likely to be murdered, one by the other.

Next comes the psychological effects of abuse. Again, they observe that the bulk of the research is comparitive between men and women and, again, they observe that men certainly do experience negative psychological consequences of abuse, among them "emotional hurt, fear, helplessness, anger, revenge seeking, sadness, shame and humiliation, depression, stress, psychological distress, and psychosomatic symptoms". Moreover, they note that the available studies have a number of weakness with regard to understanding the consequences to men, such as the incidence of alcoholism, PTSD, suicide, self-destructiveness, self-mutilation and assaultive behaviors. I find these interesting because I am used to a world in which such behavior in women is often excused because she's been abused, but in the unrecognized abused man would be considered intrinsic defects in his personality rather than reactions to an intolerable living situation. The authors note "To gain a clearer picture of the consequences of abuse toward men, researchers need to study both the externalizing [alcoholism etc] and internalizing [depression etc.] behaviors of abused men compared with those of nonabused men."

They also emphasize "men who are the sole victims of violence in their intimate relationships should be assessed separate1y from men involved in mutually abusive relationships because the psychological ramifications could be quite different."

The next section is titled "Why do they stay?" and notes some qualitative studies of men hanging around an abusive wife. The usual reasons are given: commitment to the marriage, fear of embarrassment, and then they observe "If they were to leave their wives, they most likely would have to move out of their homes, support their (ex)wives, and pay for their own living expenses as well", "it is difficult for abused men to use this defense in court to obtain custody of their children" and "Therefore, many abused men refuse to leave for fear of leaving their children with abusive women.". This section finishes up by declaring the obvious need for quantitative research in this area.

Emotional abuse enters the discussion in terms of the difficulty in defining it. Nevertheless, "Even though emotional abuse tends to coexist with or predate physical abuse, emotional abuse can occur without physical abuse, and its effects are still devastating to those victimized by it.". References are cited demonstrating the existence of emotional abuse by women against men.

As for the effects of emotional abuse, the authors are able to find only one case study in the literature of a man who had been systematically emotionally abused. The case given is fairly extreme, but given the prevalence of the henpecked-husband stereotype, I would have thought there should be more than this one. The authors emphasize one particular aspect of this study, that "this man suffered from traumatic bonding, in which the abuser alternates abusive behavior with kindness, creating a bond that involves intermittent positive reinforcement" and is classically abusive.

Then "the more emotional abuse these men experienced in their relationships, the higher their symptom counts for PTSD and alcoholism". But again, the available research is pitifully sparse.

I am tempted to quote the conclusion in its entirity, but instead recommend that you follow the link and read it there.

Friday, October 14, 2005

"Men are very bad for women really"

OK, it's a small thing, it's just a minor gripe, I really shouldn't let these things get to me, but the BBC is really starting to bug me. They used to be the definitive source for news, you could be sure of what they reported, and that it would be fairly complete. But their web site, I really don't know, I see more and more, well just rubbish, pap for the masses, thoughtless, bite-sized drivel.

Now, listen up, this is real news here: if wifey gets fat, apparently it's hubby's fault.

The feminists should be pissed here too. Why does the BBC think women can't control their eating habits? Isn't feminism about empowerment? Isn't empowerment about taking responsibility? Doesn't taking responsibility apply to both good and bad things? But even a woman's weight gain is her man's fault! Is there nothing that women do that's not positive and not a man's fault? What's more, this article also supports that hoary old line - "put a ring on her finger and her waist expands". The feminists ought to be fuming! Absolutely livid! (I wonder how many are nodding their heads in vacuous agreement. Men=bad. Yup. Yessirreeboy.)

But hey, there's more - women are getting fatter because their partners are helping with the housework so they exercise less! Guys, we just can't win.

Once again, let's do the gender switch: "Women are very bad for men really". Er, waitaminnit, just hang on there, I think this one might actually be defendable - how much longer do women live than men...? Huh?! Huh?!

Nahhh, that's gotta be our fault too. We work too hard, or something.

I know, it's a small thing, I really shouldn't have let it get to me. I'm sorry, I'm overreacting. I'll calm down now. Really. Breathing deep. Thinking my happy thought. Ommmmm.

P.S. It was even a man who said it. That thing. About men being bad for women. In the article. Pussy.

P.P.S. And I can't bear CNN.

Terri's my heroine for the day,

People like Terri Lynn Tersak give me hope. I especially liked her entry "Do Women Really Want Equality?". Don't forget to follow the link in the title. Write more Terri!

When gay parents separate

Here's one from Sweden, one of the very few countries that seem to have made a continuing success of a socialist government. In this case, a man has lost his fight, which was taken all the way to the supreme court, against being forced to pay child support for three boys born from his sperm to a lesbian couple.

It would be altogether too easy to put this up as yet another example of anti-male bias in the courts. However, upon meditation, one must remember that the courts are supposed to interpret and enforce the law. In this they can be quite simplistic, even mindless, and it has nothing at all to do with justice. If the law says that a non-custodial, biological parent must pay child support, then it gives the court no choice and people like our Swede above are going to be railroaded. The court doesn't care if the law is unjust, it only cares about who the law says is to pay. If there is any bias, it is in the law, not necessarily the court. (Then again, I don't know Swedish law, perhaps it is more flexible than that, in which case...)

Given only the bare facts of the news item, I feel for the poor man. His presumably selfless and well-meaning act has ultimately proven at least naive and landed him in serious trouble - the cost of triple fatherhood without any of the rewards, not to mention the toll this lost battle must have taken on him. I hope that some day he does find some reward in his fatherhood and isn't driven into the ground by whatever the courts make him pay.

As for the two women, well, I suppose that someone has to pay for the children's upbringing, but one wonders why not the mother who took off? Perhaps there is no way in Swedish law to make her pay, in which case, we can at least understand the behavior of the mother left holding the baby (and have some suggestions for changes to Swedish family law). Even so, it is clear that one mother gets to leave without paying the piper and she seems to have discovered a method of parenthood without responsibility. One wonders what would have happened if it were the biological mother (bioMum?) who had left?

It is often instructive to reverse the genders in situations like this. How would we feel if two gay men had contracted a woman to provide them with a child, then a while later separated and the father left with custody sued the mother for child support?

This would be interesting on multiple levels. I imagine that many would look askance at the mother, wondering at her willingness to rent out her reproductive apparatus like this. After all, we have to admit that the minimum effort that a female mammal has to put into producing a child is rather more than does a male. But then again, we do have examples of this in our modern world (I seem to remember reading about a mother bearing her daughter's child not long ago, I may be mistaken), and so should be open-minded enough to be able to consider it as a business transaction. On the other hand, it is fairly normal for expectant mothers to form an affection for their child even before it is born, which would clearly complicate matters. Having contracted to produce the child, should the law be able to force her to hand it over if she changed her mind?

Then there are the fathers. Let's assume that they started off in good faith and weren't fiendishly out to make life seriously difficult for the mother. (Would that be rape?) When they separate, should, er, nonbioDad be allowed to walk away? Should he be made to pay child support, unlike the Swedish nonbioMum? Assuming, of course, that is what he wants to do. Should we not think of him as a father at all but simply an uncredited extra in the drama of this child's origin? That wouldn't be very sympathetic, especially if he doesn't walk away from the child and wants to continue his role? What if bioDad doesn't want him to? Worse, what if nonbioDad wants custody? In what sense is he a father? If he is a father, and can show that he's the better father, then should he be given custody? What would that say about the bioDad's rights? What if it were bioDad who took off? If nonbioDad requests but doesn't get custody and pays child support, should he be entitled to access? How much access?

What if custodial Dad (who could be either bioDad or nonbioDad) sues bioMum for child support? How do we rate the chances of his getting it?

What if Mum then turns up an asks for custody herself? If she gets it, should she be able to sue both fathers for child support?

Gosh, but this is a thorny mess, and we haven't even begun to discuss what might be in the best interests of the child.

Either way, it does seem to make it obvious that a legal system that is going to accept gay marriage, will also have to consider gay parenthood, and then must also require gay parents to pony up when it all falls apart, just like the straight ones.

Whatever, I won't be investing in Swedish fertility clinics for a while.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Want One Of Those

Given yesterday's two articles from the BBC web site, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised to find something like this tasteless item on sale in the UK. Like I said, ladies, stabbing hubby is obviously all the rage in limey-land. Go on, get to it, stick it to him...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Gender switch dept.

Here's one for the gender switch game, in which I take some female-friendly, male-unfriendly texts and switch gender pronouns etc. just to see how it sounds then. This tends to expose abusive feminism very effectively.

Take the first and fifth:

"RAN INTO MY EX... Put It in Reverse & Hit Her Again"

"Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a total jerk just like you"

(Remember folks, I'm saying these are bad things, not good.)

'Shame really, it's an interesting blog in some other ways.

However, it does include a quote which I don't quite get:

"The dogma of woman's complete historical subjection to men must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind." -Mary Ritter Beard

Meaning that women have NOT historically been subjected to men? Interesting, I always thought the reverse was the feminists' position...

A flurry of interesting articles today...

... mostly from the UK:

The Times identifies marriage & divorce in the UK developing into a "gold digger's charter".

Still in the UK, a knife to the chest is the favored way to deal with a husband or boyfriend who upsets a woman in both southeast England and Wales. Both men died. In neither case was violence against the woman an issue, in the latter the perpetrator got off with a sympathetic word from the judge, in the former, all he'd done was call her the wrong name and it remains to be seen how stern a talking to she might get. (Both of these articles come from the BBC, and I am interested to note that the underground railroad observes an apparent ban on pro-men speech there. Interesting, for supposedly the world's most reliable news source.)

In a novel move for them, the Guardian (again the UK) publishes an article giving positive news for fathers. 'Seems that they're going to get the right to six months unpaid paternity leave to make them feel more responsible parents. Well, I guess we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but one has to wonder if the more likely result might be a lot of good fathers being made to feel guilty because they can't afford to take those six months off (not to mention giving their potential future ex wives one more thing to moan about in the divorce proceedings and one more excuse for the judge to come down on him). Every silver lining has its cloud...

Back on the other side of the Atlantic and halfway across the Pacific, the Honolulu Starbulletin observes it's the boys who're getting shafted as the girls trip to high grades and good healthcare.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

False allegations

For the "women would never do that" dept:

"a series of damaging allegations were made by the wife, including rape and domestic abuse, which were either retracted by her or later shown to be contradicted in subsequent statements she made. The initial purpose of the “malicious lies campaign”, says David is it served the dual purpose to ensure that she retained custody of the son and gained housing refuge" [...] "a friend of hers was so taken in by her “convincing” stories of rape and abuse that he took the law into his own hands" [...] "savagely unleashed over 20 hammer blows to the skull of a sleeping man"

No, women don't make false allegations for personal advantage and if they did, no-one would believe them, would they?

Yes, they do and yes they would.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sign up for... Women's Studies!

You know what's so funny about this page? It's not the mildy amusing, satyrical graphic that they dislike, it's the stream of comments from angry wimmin that follow to prove it's point!!!


Mental castration

A little off the beaten track, I suppose, I found this gem on a Nepalese news web site, an absolutely classic example of the assumption that all society's ills are a result of various failures of, er, socialization. The article actually starts out as an apparently serious analysis of a suggestion to castrate all men and the author does actually point out that this would kinda limit the human animal's longevity as a species. But it's the continued insistence that said human animal learns all of its behaviours on an individual basis that gets me. Perhaps we could arrange for a massive airdrop of Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, whaddaya think?

But that said, it finishes with "We need to learn that god meant both sexes to be equal and co-exist peacefully. The negative feedback regarding women must be erased forever. Give equality a chance, at homes first". Well never mind the implication that negative feedback regarding men is apparently not relevant, but yeah, let's give equality a chance in the home, eh...?

What if Freud had been a woman?

"Sex would not be considered the primary force that drives human behavior. Instead, it would be Fear of Having a Large Behind. All men would be haunted by a condition known as "penis shame." The mind would not be divided into the Id, the Ego and the Superego but the Shoe-Desire Region, the Weeping Center, and the If-You-Don't-Know-What-You-Did-Wrong-I'm-Not-Going-to-Tell-You Lobe. Also, sometimes a dried apricot is just a dried apricot."


And, well, fair's fair, if you're going to stereotype one side, you'll have to dig at the other too:

"What if our thoughts scrolled across our foreheads, like a TV news crawl?

All men would be incarcerated for public lewdness, conspiracy, fraud and crimes against humanity."

Read the rest here.

But I wonder, what would happen to women if their thoughts scrolled across thier foreheads...?

Kitten News - A total eclipse of the son

I found this essay on Kitten News

"You people make me sick! If a man had done that you would all be calling the police. Why is it OK for her, huh?" No one answered me.

Amen brother.

Glen Sacks on Peggy Drexler

Here is Glenn Sacks review of Peggy Drexler's book about raising boys without men. Read it. Please.

Also, pick up a copy of How to Lie With Statistics, first published in 1954, it will help you understand how people like Drexler can get away with their appallingly unconscionable behaviour.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Actual evidence

Here is a page full of references in an example, for the hard of reasoning and generally bigoted, of substantiated claims as opposed to the drivel mentioned in the previous post. For example:

"Most child abuse and parental murder of children is committed by mothers, not fathers."

"In another study, 40% of divorced mothers admitted that they had interfered with their ex-husband's access or visitation, and that their motives were punitive in nature and not due to safety considerations."

"in the context of a custody battle, between 60% and 80% of domestic violence accusations are false."

"The vast majority of accusations of child sexual abuse made during custody battles are false, unfounded or unsubstantiated."

"Children are 88% more likely to be seriously injured from abuse or neglect by their mothers than by their fathers."

"Men win custody in only 10% of contested custody cases"

Keeping the Silence

Mother Jones likes the new PBS documentary "breaking the silence" (sorry, no link, I'm too sickened):

"studies have shown that in cases where the father chooses to seek some form of custody over the mother's objections, there is a high probability that he has either battered the mother, abused the children or both. However, if the mother accuses the father of child abuse in court, the judge could suspect she is motivated by revenge and to reject the accusation as false."

First of all, er, what "studies"? The article goes on to claim that judges are biased in favour of the father (now there's a novelty), here's a counter argument with ACTUAL NUMBERS. But we're well used to unsubstantiated and biased claims in this context, aren't we?

But moreover, does anyone see the consequences of this line of argument: any father who seeks custody of the children over the mother's wishes is automatically a suspected abuser.

And they go on:

"Parental alienation ... theory states that women will concoct stories of physical and sexual child abuse out of vindictiveness toward their former partners .... has been denounced as junk science.."

Debunked? It has? By whom? Again, what studies?

Also, do they imagine that this could never happen? That no woman would ever be vindictive towards their former partners, would ever concoct stories of abuse, and never attempt to manipulate the children to take her side in such a thing? No, that could never happen. Could it?

The intent, from this article, is obvious, to further dissuade fathers from ever even attempting to gain custody of his children if his partner walks out with them.

Jeez, even the title of this "documentary" is a purile cliche.

Last sentence of the Old Testament.

I found this at the bottom of the Custody Info for Parents page at Child's Best Interests:

Last sentence of the Old Testament:

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.
Malachi 4:6

I'm not particularly religious, but, wel...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Why are there so few of us?

Given that there are 700,000 divorces in the US each year, and given the gross distortions of justice that several web sites report on every day, why are there so few blogs from men fighting to remain fathers? Is it fear? Exhaustion? Apathy? Or are there just very few suffering this fate? I can't believe this, as just in my own direct experience I know of multiple cases where fathers have been treated with gross unfairness. There must be more, why don't they write?

The Einsatz Executions

We are just as capable now as ever, despite our supposedly civilized modern world, of dressing up and sanitizing atrocity so that we do not feel nor see it ourselves. Mankind is, and always has been, an animal and a particularly vicious one at that. We must always accept this knowledge and keep it in mind, if we do not we can easily forget the dark forces that lie beneath and how they can take us over. Rousseau was an ass.

Account by Herman Graebe, a German engineer working in the Ukraine, of executions he witnessed October 5, 1942:

"My foreman and I went directly to the pits. Nobody bothered us. Now I heard rifle shots in quick succession from behind one of the earth mounds. The people who had got off the trucks - men, women and children of all ages - had to undress upon the order of an SS man who carried a riding or dog whip. They had to put down their clothes in fixed places, sorted according to shoes, top clothing and undergarments. I saw heaps of shoes of about 800 to 1000 pairs, great piles of under-linen and clothing. Without screaming or weeping these people undressed, stood around in family groups, kissed each other, said farewells, and waited for a sign from another SS man, who stood near the pit, also with a whip in his hand. During the fifteen minutes I stood near, I heard no complaint or plea for mercy. I watched a family of about eight persons, a man and a woman both of about fifty, with their children of about twenty to twenty-four, and two grown-up daughters about twenty-eight or twenty-nine. An old woman with snow white hair was holding a one year old child in her arms and singing to it and tickling it. The child was cooing with delight. The parents were looking on with tears in their eyes. The father was holding the hand of a boy about ten years old and speaking to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears. The father pointed to the sky, stroked his head and seemed to explain something to him. At that moment the SS man at the pit started shouting something to his comrade. The latter counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earth mound. Among them was the family I have just mentioned. I well remember a girl, slim with black hair, who, as she passed me, pointed to herself and said, "twenty-three years old." I walked around the mound and found myself confronted by a tremendous grave. People were closely wedged together and lying on top of each other so that only their heads were visible. Nearly all had blood running over their shoulders from their heads. Some of the people shot were still moving. Some were lifting their arms and turning their heads to show that they were still alive. The pit was nearly two-thirds full. I estimated that it already contained about a thousand people. I looked for the man who did the shooting. He was an SS man, who sat at the edge of the narrow end of the pit, his feet dangling into the pit. He had a tommy-gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette. The people, completely naked, went down some steps which were cut in the clay wall of the pit and clambered over the heads of the people lying there to the place to which the SS man directed them. They lay down in front of the dead or wounded people; some caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice. Then I heard a series of shots. I looked into the pit and saw that the bodies were twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that lay beneath them. Blood was running from their necks. The next batch was approaching already. They went down into the pit, lined themselves up against the previous victims and were shot."

I lifted this from here

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

1984? Who needed it?

Just a random quote from a report on the Father Crisis from a university professor:

"A parent pulled into divorce court against his will also must submit to questioning about his private life, questioning that Abraham has characterized as an “interrogation.” He can be forced to surrender personal diaries, correspondence, financial records, and other documents normally protected by the Fourth Amendment. His personal habits, movements, conversations, writings, and purchases are subject to inquiry by the court. His home can be entered by government agents. His visits with his children can be monitored and restricted to a “supervised visitation center.” Anything he says to his spouse or children as well as to family counselors and personal therapists can be used against him in court, and his children can be used to inform on his compliance. Fathers are asked intimate questions about how they “feel” about their children, what they do with them, where they take them, how they kiss them, how they feed and bathe them, what they buy for them, and what they discuss with them. According to Abraham, fathers against whom no evidence of wrongdoing is presented are ordered to submit to “plethysmographs,” a physical-response test in which an electronic sheath is placed over the penis while the father is forced to watch pornographic films of children (1999, 148, 58). A parent who refuses to cooperate can be summarily incarcerated or ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation."

Welcome to the new gulag.

London commuter chaos more significant than national family choas.

Why do we only hear about Fathers 4 Justice when they pull a stunt and when they get hauled before the beak?. You'd think with all the fuss that the news services, if they were doing their job at all (and I realize that this is a lot to ask), would once in a while report on whether or not Fathers 4 Justice were having any effect, talking to the right people, or were anything but occasional entertainment for a population which they clearly think should be kept in ignorance of any actual responsibility on the part of the system that has forced good men into these demonstrations.

Good lord, could this be a sympathetic judge...?

In passing sentence on the Fathers 4 Justice people who "stormed" the Big Brother studios in January, the judge said:

"Of course I understand each of the defendant's claims of reason and it may be a reason which has, in terms of that defendant's perception and his individual circumstances, considerable merit."

'Sounds a lot like careful endorsement to me.

I imagine that particular broadcast of Big Brother was about as real as reality TV might ever get.

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